Portrait of Ira Glass

Ira Glass

Ira Glass is the host and creator of the public radio program This American Life

The show is heard each week by over 2.2 million listeners on more than 500 public radio stations, with another 2.2 million downloading the podcast. The show also airs each week on the CBC in Canada, ABC RN in Australia, and on BBC Radio 4 Extra in the UK. For years, the podcast of This American Life was the most popular podcast on iTunes – until the show started its first spin-off program Serial, which quickly became the most popular podcast ever created. Over 8 million people have downloaded each episode. 

Glass began his career as an intern at National Public Radio’s network headquarters in Washington, DC in 1978, when he was 19 years old. Over the years, he worked on nearly every NPR network news program and held virtually every production job in NPR’s Washington headquarters. He has been a tape cutter, newscast writer, desk assistant, editor, repor ter and producer. He has filled in as host of Talk of the Nation and Weekend All Things Considered.

Under Glass’s editorial direction, This American Life has won the highest honors for broadcasting and journalistic excellence, including five Peabody awards. The American Journalism Review declared that the show is 'at the vanguard of a journalistic revolution'. A television adaptation of This American Life ran on the Showtime network for two seasons in 2007 and 2008, winning three Emmy awards including Outstanding Nonfiction Series. 

Credit: Jesse Michener